I recently took a trip to Kansas City for their International Film Festival where the short rom-com I wrote, “Loves Me, Loves Me Not”, was being screened. Almost every step had a hitch. I’m so glad of the lessons I’ve learned in the film/acting training. The biggest two are
“always keep a positive attitude” and “Don’t waste any time blaming. Just fix the problem.”
First hitch: the festival had to switch dates so my original trip, with a couple days of snowboarding fun at the start, and booked with miles, was cancelled. I could only re-book for the current dates with double the miles, and all of the paid flights were almost $600!! So I booked round trip non-stop on Spirit. (Yes, Spirit, the airline that I said I would never fly on again.)
A week before the flight, Spirit cancelled my return flight and wanted to bring me back on Wednesday (the festival went until Thursday). So, I had to reschedule with a 3 hour layover in Las Vegas on Friday. (Did I say that was after a 4 hour wait to have a computer chat with a real person? There is no phone number.) I thought, “this will be good and I’ll win at some slot machines in the Las Vegas airport.” I had $10 to spend. All I did was lose $5 and think, “This is ridiculous, I’m not going to lose another $5.” I bought a coffee and waited.
I was going to wear all of my clothes so that I didn’t have to pay the $33 checked baggage fee. When I finally decided that was a dumb idea and I just needed to cough up the dough, the fee was then $43. I only booked the bag for the flight there. After I clicked buy, I realized I needed to get the bag home. So I signed back in and then the bag was $55!! So, I waited again for a live chat—thankfully only two hours this time. The agent that picked up saw what happened and gave me my return bag for free. So I actually saved money.
Originally, I booked a hotel for three nights, but when the date changed I was able to switch it to two and I got to spend two nights at a friends’ house! So, not only did I save money, but I had some great time to visit with my friends who came to many of the films at the festival!
The first night in Kansas City, after spending a nice dinner and few hours with my 95 year old mother, I arrived to my hotel at 11:45 pm. They didn’t have my confirmation. I showed them the Expedia confirmation email, but the young woman at the desk couldn’t do anything because she didn’t have the confirmation number in her system. Luckily she had one room available. She gave me the key and said I could figure it out in the morning with the manager. So, the next morning the manager deeply apologized, told me I had to call Expedia to cancel and then she would book the room at the same price. After going through all that, she gave me the first night free and only charged me for one night. Cha-ching.
Finally, I got to the festival and they didn’t have a badge and tickets for me. Nothing special there transpired with this faux pas except being able to chat with the festival organizers a bit more than I might have.
My big take away is to not always assume the worst is a tragedy. If it doesn’t work out better than expected it will just make a good story.